Has Hollywood Killed Method Acting?

In this very interesting article from Atlantic, Angelica Bastien explores the idea that Hollywood is killing method acting. Here’s an excerpt expressing her thoughts:

Method acting, founded by the father of modern theatre Stanislavsky and furthered in America under Lee Strasburg, is the idea that the actor must emotionally and physically commit oneself to the role through a variety of methods including bringing up experiences from one’s life or doing things in real life which mimics the character one is playing. It’s the emotional connection which will unmask the actor and allow him or her to become that character in a real and authentic way. According to Bastien, Hollywood has encouraged a culture of acting which has become so extreme in preperation, that if one doesn’t stave themselves or wrap themselves in an animal hide (like DeCaprio in “The Revenent”) that, as Bastien says, the actor has become a sissy.

I completely agree with what Bastien is saying. I’ve seen wonderful performances on stage and film where the actor embodied the character and brought the story to life without doing  what Bastien describes as follows:

“The unimaginative and overly stylized quirks of Leto’s performance as the Joker is a reminder to audiences, performers, and critics just how unrewarding and empty method acting has become with all its excesses. To buy into it is to limit the discussion about what kind of performances are worthwhile. It is to feed into a culture that lets actors get away with dangerous stunts in the name of ego and marketing—not art.”

Make sure to check out the full article HERE!


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